Biden admin sends letter directing major news outlets criticize impeachment inquiry

"It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A letter leaked from the Biden White House shows that the administration is eager to get major news outlets to discredit the impeachment inquiry, launched by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on the House floor on Tuesday.

The letter to top execs at the major outlets urges them to "ramp up" their "scrutiny" of House Republicans after Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the inquiry. This after months and months of Oversight Committee investigations into Biden's relationship with his son Hunter's shady overseas business dealings.

"It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies," Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, wrote in the letter, a draft of which was obtained by CNN.

Sams added that the impeachment inquiry should "set off alarm bells for news organizations."

CNN obtained an advance copy of the letter, which is going out to CBS News, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, and others, a White House official familiar with the matter told CNN.

"Covering impeachment as a process story – Republicans say X, but the White House says Y – is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable," Sams wrote.

"And in the modern media environment, where every day liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere from Facebook to Fox, process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth," he added.

Already, news outlets like the Associated Press are claiming that the impeachment inquiry is "without evidence." This is the same type of language that was used in 2020 in the lead up to the presidential election when media outlets refused to cover the story of Hunter Biden's laptop, claiming that it was Russian disinformation. 

The only reason, however, that they claimed it was Russian disinformation is because the Biden campaign reached out to a former intelligence agent to ask if the laptop had the hallmarks of Russian disinformation. That agent enlisted his cronies to agree that it had those "hallmarks," though they did not say that the laptop itself was actually Russian disinformation. After this letter was released to Politico, that outlet used it to claim that intelligence agents claimed that the laptop was Russian disinformation, even though that's not was the agents said and also wasn't true.

Many outlets used that baseless claim that was instigated by the Biden campaign as an excuse to not report on the story. 

McCarthy announced on Tuesday that an impeachment inquiry would be launched, headed by James Comer in coordination with Jim Jordan and Jason Smith.

"These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption. They warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives."

"That's why today I am directing our house committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public."

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